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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    I've noticed that lots of new computers are being sold with XP Media Center Edition 2005 and I'm trying to find out if this version includes any of the security, networking, etc. features of the Pro version. My Googling so far this morning hasn't turned up a chart or other comparison. Does anyone know if this version is based on Pro or Home or some combination? I've been asked by my son who's contemplating buying a new computer that has Media Edition pre-loaded.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    According to MS, <A target="_blank" HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluation/features.mspx">Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 lets you do everything other Windows XP PCs do

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    Thanks a lot, Leif. Our searching habits must be alike, for I also saw the MS stuff and the Paul Thurrott article (which was quite a rave, BTW). In the final analysis, my son is a "home user" and not a professional computer freak and his wife is a novice-to-moderate user. They are currently looking at a few Dell models, so I went to the Dell page and clicked on the customize button to see if I could stumble on something. In the area of OS, the attachment seems to answer (in general terms) my question, especially in light of the price differential to get Pro instead of MCE 2005. For what they do at home, they should be fine without Pro. Thanks again...

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    Al, I seem to recall reading that Media Center is a superset of XP Home, even though you've already answered your own question. It makes sense, because a Media Center PC would typically be located at... home. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> There would be no need for the advanced networking and administration features of Pro in that case.
    -Mark

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    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    I am researching the same question regarding XP Media Center Edition--is it based on XP Home or Pro? My research shows that it's based on XP Pro. For example, this article from PC World says it's a superset of XP Pro: http://pcworld.about.com/news/Mar102005id119960.htm

    Here's an even better source: On page 683 of Windows XP All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies by Woody Leonhard, it says, "A Media Center PC is a Windows XP Professional PC . . . ."

    I'm also trying to determine if the Media Center Edition includes all of the functionality of XP Pro. My search found an article on directron.com (http://www.directron.com/xpmedia.html) that says that the Media Center Edition lacks support for Domain Controllers--a feature included in XP Pro. Anyone know about any other functionality that's missing from MCE?

    At one time the Media Center Edition was only sold on Media Center PCs--you couldn't buy the software separately. Is that no longer the case? It appears to be sold separately now, although the directron.com article indicated it's only sold to System Builders.

    Thanks for your help!

    - Linda

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    You are correct that Media Center is a superset of XP Pro. It's essentially XP Pro with an additional application (Media Center). It includes all of the functionality of Pro except for joining a domain and cached credentials, neither of which should ever present a problem in its intended environment (your living room).

    Straight from the horse's mouth:
    <hr>While you can access network resources on a work network or a domain, you cannot join a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PC to the domain. PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 are designed specifically for home use. Windows XP Professional features, specifically Domain Join and Cached Credentials (Credentials Manager for logons) are not included. As a result, you will be prompted for your logon user name and password to access network resources after you reboot or log back on to the PC. In addition, file shares or network resources that are set to require a domain-joined PC for access will not be available. Remote Desktop and Encrypting File System support are still included.<hr>
    As to your last question, you are also correct - system builders can purchase and install Media Center, but it is not sold at retail. That doesn't mean that you can't get your hands on it, but to get the software only you must buy it in a three-pack OEM (original equipment manufacturer) version. You can also get the OEM version with certain hardware purchases - specifically those that are required for the computer to operate. That disqualifies printers, scanners, and other optional hardware. I'm certain Microsoft licenses it this way to prevent a support nightmare; the system requirements are far more strict than non-MCE versions of Windows. By doing this, Microsoft is trying to ensure a good user experience out of the box instead of complaints about how poorly the product performs. Thus... you can pretend to be a system builder and purchase it with the caveats noted previously.

    Hope that helps...
    -Mark

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    Thanks: Win XP Media Center Edition (XP Pro SP2)

    It sure does help! Thank you, Mark!

    - Linda

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